As we ramp up to peak holiday season, you likely have a lot on your mind as a homeowner, especially if you’re the designated host for the upcoming slew of parties and get-togethers. You may be thinking about all of the things you need to prepare as well as looking forward to seeing your loved ones and celebrating with family traditions.
The one thing likely not on your to-do list is pest control. But even though it’s not the most pleasant thing to think about, pests can easily ruin a party and the holidays altogether if left unchecked, so it’s best to prepare ahead of time.
Here are some simple ways to stay one step ahead of the critters this holiday season and protect your home against these uninvited guests.
Pests that find their way inside your home have to come from somewhere, right? Do a survey of the outside of your home to make sure you are eliminating the true sources of the problem. This will include keeping grass cut, eliminating leaves and debris, trimming bushes and shrubs away from the home and sealing any holes or gaps where critters can find their way inside. Read more about these tips in our fall prep guide.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire are only pleasant if the wood is pest-free. Before bringing firewood into the home, whether you keep it stored outside or just bought a bundle, inspect it thoroughly for signs of pests that can use it to hitch a ride into your house. If you maintain a larger stockpile throughout the year, keep firewood stored far away from the home, so there isn’t an easy pathway inside for the bugs and rodents that will inevitably use it for shelter.
Store Food Carefully and Quickly
Arguably the best part of this time of year is the food - the cookies, crumbles, ciders and pies are what most of your guests are looking forward to. Unfortunately, these tasty treats are also the perfect targets for ants, cockroaches and mice. Be sure to clean up all food areas thoroughly throughout the season so crumbs are kept to a minimum. Put all food away in airtight containers, especially those going into a pantry or being left on the counter. Better yet, send your guests home with plenty of leftovers!
Take Out the Garbage
You want to stay on top of taking out the trash for the same reason as you want to store food carefully. Just because food makes its way to the garbage can in your kitchen doesn’t mean critters won’t find their way to it. Keeping your indoor trash as free from food as possible will eliminate a huge source of pests. When taking garbage outside, remember to store bins a bit farther away from the house so that even if rodents and larger critters do find their way into them, they won’t then have immediate access to the home.
All those holiday decorations that you keep stored away throughout the rest of the year - undisturbed for 10+ months in a dark and cool place - make for the perfect critter shelter. It’s likely these decorations are stored in bags and cardboard boxes, not airtight containers, so before you bring them into the main part of your home, give them a thorough inspection for signs of infestation. This can include chew marks, droppings or the critters themselves. The same goes for any natural decorations, i.e. trees and plants, that you bring into the home from elsewhere. Better to deal with a problem in the garage than in your kitchen or dining room while you’re cutting the turkey.
Call in the Professionals
For extra peace of mind, call your local Pestmaster pest control professional to help protect your home ahead of the holiday festivities. Whether you have an existing pest problem or not, we will do a thorough inspection of your property to identify potential problems and prescribe the best course of action. Contact us today to learn more and schedule service.